Desoto County News

Mid-South Fair announces 2023 contest information

Student Art Contest, Youth Talent Contest, Miss Mid-South Fair Volunteer Pageant and SpokesKID Contest set to showcase local talent

The Mid-South Fair has announced details surrounding its annual Student Art and Youth Talent Contests, SpokesKID Contest and Miss Mid-South Fair Volunteer Pageant.

The Mid-South Fair’s Student Art Contest showcases captivating creations from talented students across our region ranging in age from 5 to 18. View these young artists’ masterpieces inside Landers Center Sept. 21 through Oct. 1. Cash prizes and prestigious ribbons are awarded to winners. Teachers can drop off artwork beginning Sept. 18, and artists can pick up their creations Oct. 2.

Two divisions make up the Youth Talent Contest – a junior division for those 9 to 12 years old and a senior division for those 13 to 21 years old. Junior division competition is slated for Sept. 23-24, and senior division competition is set for Sept. 24-Oct 1. Cash prizes are awarded to the top four acts in both age groups. The senior division Grand Award winner also earns a private audition in Hollywood or New York City, is awarded a scholarship of more than $30,000 to Visible Music College and can provide special entertainment at the 2024 Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Contest Senior Grand Finals.

The junior division is made up of the first 200 applicants. Those who wish to participate in the senior division can qualify by winning a sanctioned local preliminary competition, receiving an at-large invitation from a Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Contest representative or being one of the top 20 acts from the previous year’s competition. Applicants can submit a video of the performance to the talent committee for consideration in the No-Go Video Preliminary Contest, as well.

“The Mid-South Fair has long been an event that nurtures the potential of our youth, offering them valuable educational and growth opportunities,” said Todd Mastry, Landers Center executive director. “Each year, our youth contests grow and grow. Oftentimes, they serve as powerful launchpads for talented kids across the Mid-South. Several years from now, I’m sure we will proudly speak the names of many participants who have wildly successful careers in their chosen fields, just like Justin Timberlake, Michael Bublé, Lucy Hale and of course, Elvis.”

The competition continues with the 2023 Miss Mid-South Fair Volunteer Pageant on Saturday, Sept. 23. The pageant is a sanctioned preliminary to Miss Tennessee Volunteer. A luncheon will kick off the festivities, followed by the interview portion, talent and evening gown competition in the Landers Center Theater. A Miss Mid-South Fair Volunteer Teen will also be crowned.

After three successful years, the Mid-South Fair’s popular SpokesKID Contest, sponsored by WREG News Channel 3, is back to find an enthusiastic youngster to serve as the event’s spokesperson. Now through Aug. 14, those who know youth interested in holding the prestigious title can apply by submitting a video of the child sharing why they want to be the spokesKID at Videos should be 60 seconds or less, and entrants must be 12 years of age or younger. The winning spokesKID selected Aug. 21 will receive 10 free Fair tickets, a $20 food voucher and will be one of the first entrants on opening day following the ribbon cutting. They will also assist the Youth Talent Contest emcee, participate in media interviews as opportunities arise, and appear on WREG’s and the Mid-South Fair’s social media pages and websites.

Visit to learn more about how to participate in the art and talent contests. Fair officials add that tickets for the 2023 Mid-South Fair are now on sale at $5 through Aug. 31.

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